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Next stop, outer space

China Daily, January 24, 2014 Adjust font size:

Zhao went to a beach and found some people playing football. Thinking they were only having fun, Zhao asked to join in. Communicating in different languages, he only understood that one of the Brazilian players asked him to wait for a moment, but finally let him in.

To his surprise, Zhao, who scored twice, later found out it was a football competition between two professional teams.

"I was so shocked. It is always a dream for a football player to play with Brazilian professionals. I couldn't believe I made it, and even scored twice!" he says, sweetness and confidence glowing on his face.

Zhao, having become one of the candidates for the space flight, was admitted to Lynx Space Academy in Orlando, Florida in December. There were more than 100 candidates from all over the world, and only 23 could reach the final stage to receive the space flight tickets.

Having played football for years, Zhao easily outdid other competitors in the physical competition, but he thought it was his observation of details that must have impressed the judges.

In a game at Lynx Space Academy in Orlando, candidates were divided into groups, and asked to build a toy rocket with some provided materials.

"The judges gave us some materials that confused us. They gave us a bottle of Coke and Mentos mints. Many of us thought that we should put the mints into the Coke, and it would form a force to launch the toy rocket.

"But I found they also provided a small toy rocket launcher, which is much more powerful than what we planned. I suggested it, but our group members ignored me," Zhao says.

Zhao received the highest score in this section. One of the judges told them that his suggestion was actually correct.

Zhao says he learned to observe every detail in his trip when he was traveling around the world. "I will continue to travel through Australia and New Zealand in 2014 and 2015. By the end of 2015, my world tour will finish with a trip to outer space.

"This is like a dream come true for me," he says.

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